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Wife of Japanese journalist held in Syria makes tearful plea for his release

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By Kazuhiro Nogi

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To save people is always number one priority for any reasonable people's govt. Not sure about Abe govt, to tell the truth.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

"There are a lot of people in Japan -- his family, relatives, friends -- waiting for my husband," his wife Myu told a news conference in Tokyo.

I am sorry that your husband was abducted, but can you please share with everyone why you, his family, relatives, and friends, did nothing to convince him not to go, or actually stop him?

Particularly after this;

In 2015 militants from the Islamic State group beheaded Japanese war correspondent Kenji Goto and his friend Haruna Yukawa in Syria.

When does he take responsibility for his own actions?

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Please tell us what those missed opportunities to free them were

13 ( +16 / -3 )

you should have pleaded to him not to go

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

Please tell us what those missed opportunities to free them were

I believe that AFP is referring to something that was reported on TV. I am unsure myself of the details, as this has been an ongoing story in the Japanese media for quite a few days now.

There were, if I recall correctly some inferences made but nothing concrete.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yabaru

Whilst I understand your point, they know it is a dangerous even life taking situation, these guys are providing an invaluable service to the public. I have a lot of respect for guys like these who put themselves out there in the thick of things to bring us news, real news - not just the government sanctioned variety, to inform and educate society on conflicts like these.

Y

17 ( +22 / -5 )

I am sorry that your husband was abducted, but can you please share with everyone why you, his family, relatives, and friends, did nothing to convince him not to go, or actually stop him?

Well, he is a journalist. This is what they do. They go to dangerous areas so that we can get the news. The local groups are targeting journalist because they don't want people to know the details of what goes on there. Something tells me they we're told to do this by people behind the scenes to help control the narrative on the Syrian conflict.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Three years. No worries though. Dear leader cares so so much.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Yeah, why should a journalist risk his safety to go to a warzone and report what's going on?

I mean, you trust the government 100% to tell you everything that happens truthfully right...?

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Sadly, her plea will fall on deaf ears.

The Japanese government was criticised for what detractors saw as its flat-footed response to the crisis at the time, including apparently missed opportunities to free both men.

Nothing can be done I guess. Pleas wont help. They are not interested in ransom. All they want is to cause terror. I assume he has already been killed and taped. So even if they pay, he will not return. Sad but that's the risk when you work in that area.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is very strange he identified himself as Korean in the video and used a different name. The captors obviously know his nationality and name from his passport or other ID so why would he have said he is Korean? It defies logic.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

She is hiding her real name and asking for help?

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

He’s probably hoping that the Korean government response will be faster than the Japanese one....

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

She is hiding her real name and asking for help?

In her defense here, and why you ask this question I really wonder why, she isnt hiding her name, it's there in plain sight.

Myu is her name, her husband is Yasuda Junpei , and her full name is myu 安田.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japanese changed a lot. She should apologize to people that her husband causing troubles to people. Crying before people was a shame for Japanese in the past.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Schopenhauer

And that's the sort of attitude that creates a suicide rate of around 30,000 per year. There is no shame in showing emotion whether it be happiness, anger, love or sadness. Yamato forever huh?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Sad, but he knew the risks and still went ahead.

But you can't fault him, without journalists willing to risk their lives, we would never get past the fake news from the media.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

To save people is always number one priority for any reasonable people's govt.

No it's not. Providing reasonable safety and protection to people is one thing. People deserve a reasonably safe and stable society to live in.

However, the government should have no obligation to save people who have chosen to put themselves at risk. A whole nation should change its foreign policy to rescue one person who chose to risk his life? And when these goons get money for one Japanese, they will make it a point to kidnap more - because they will know it pays.

I don't criticize this guy for putting himself at risk. It's his choice. But I don't think the government has any responsibility towards him, either. Negotiating with kidnappers just means more kidnapping down the line, and ultimately more deaths.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Negotiating with kidnappers just means more kidnapping down the line, and ultimately more deaths.

That’s why you don’t negotiate, you go get them. JSOG exists for a reason.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With all the previous journalists who had their heads cut off, what would convince others to venture into some of these places?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You can't plea with animals, sorry.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Shenjinning

Not animals, animals kill for food or protection. These nut jobs are criminals who hide behind religion to try and justify their means.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Free-journalists are one of the most competitive work where those guys go to dangerous places risking their lives but looking for sensationalism at the same time. From my point of view, it's like a contract you have to sign to demonstrate stunt actions or a simple bandy jump, the sing to show the contractor has any responsibility for some fatal results, however free-journalists don't have any contract to sign, do they? Does the government have to prepare this sort of contract to those free-journalists, who are even payed nothing to risk their lives. It's an important task the free-journalists should be ready and be responsible for his/her actions.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Correction: Contractor has no responsibility.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Let's hope the Japanese government heeds the lessons of western Europe and doesn't start allowing the terrorists ("refugees") to immigrate to Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Should be asking CIA.. they seem to be financing al nusra

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

starpunkToday 12:40 pm JSTI can't believe some of these posts. These are journalists. They go out to events and places around the world (and sometimes in orbit too) to report on events as they happen LIVE - in the flesh, as they happen. It's risky business and it's very dangerous. These people are not 'talking heads' sitting at desks and looking good, prim and proper. They risk their lives to tell us the truth as it occurs, right here right now.

Jumpei Yasuda is a brave man. He pursues the truth and reports it but unfortunately he was captured by these cowardly thugs. He probably said he was a Korean and gave a fake name in order to protect the lives and identities of his fellow Japanese journalists, maybe even ease the mind of his wife Myu.

And I don't know why some people are criticizing Myu pleaing for the release of her husband and crying openly for all to see. She loves her husband. She wants him back safe and sound, in her arms. That's being a good wife, folks. And her crying is just part of being human. Is that too much to ask for these days?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yasuda forgot the golden rule of journalism, namely: don't let yourself become the story.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

He knew, I'm sure, the risks he was taking, and if he didn't he does now. But the silly thing is that he didn't need to go at all as there are plenty of refugees who have brought out stories of what's going on in these Middle Eastern, fanatic-ridden, wrecks of countries; moreover the fanatics themselves have never been shy of showing off their barbaric and medieval attitudes and practices. So while i feel sorry for his wife, it's hard to feel the same for him, as I feel sure his country's Foreign Affairs Department would have warned him against going had he bothered to consult them.

.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

For everyone saying that the government shouldn’t lift a finger to help a journalist, I don’t want to hear a damn peep out of any of you the next time an aid worker or volunteer doctor gets taken hostage because they ‘knew what they were getting into’ just the same.

This man was wasn’t a gun otaku looking for some excitement, he was a proven journalist, doing something noble and necessary in the modern world. He deserves respect and whatever help the Japanese government can provide him.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Abe Government's Supporters still repeat slander or sneer against Hostage and Hostage's Family under the name of "Self-Responsibility".

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am not sure if this is new news with him being captive for three years. I have not seen much on Japanese TV about him. In fact, there have not been many captive and shown on video since a couple of years ago. I knew I didn't want those days of yore to come back and then once again this Japanese journalist is shown. Let's hope that no one takes his life on video as many have before him. Although I feel empathy for his family and him, I am not shocked! And in many ways, that is sad!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Schopenhauer.

Actually, pre Oprah we had a similar self discipline and sense of honour in the west - or at least a lot more than now.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

, I don’t want to hear a damn peep out of any of you the next time an aid worker or volunteer doctor gets taken 

Oh, stop it. We still have the freedom to peep. What specific solutions did you offer?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

They risk their lives to tell us the truth as it occurs, right here right now.

No. Not truth. Facts. Facts influenced by their geographical and psychological perspective. That’s the beginning of ascertaining truth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I clicked this page already expecting comments blaming the victim...

Well, expectations are met.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

they know it is a dangerous even life taking situation, these guys are providing an invaluable service to the public. 

I agree that they are doing jobs that few people want to and can give us information that few could. However, as a husband myself, I would take a little more risk out of my life so I could always be there for my family.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ABANDONED BY JAPAN FOR ?

°

If he identifies himself as Corean, this is not good. The japaneese government could have but won't help.

Journalist who sometimes understand too much or have seen too much are left to die.

Or, this is a kind of "you shame us too much" or "you have to commit seppuku when you are taken prisoner" or "why is he alive when everyone else is killed" (Some prisoner gives others prisoners to stay alive or the location of free people or their kid's school).

here, he admitted in public disloyalty or weakness. His wife can ask for legitimate divorce and the government can pay too for his mercy killing and not just his liberty.

-- Yes, international world is harder than you can imagine.

°

NCM

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

going to a civil war in the middle east to take pictures? What did you expect?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Oh, stop it. We still have the freedom to peep.

Sure, but you'd be a hypocrite. I wonder which people you think are worthy to be helped by the government and which aren't. So far we've got journalists in the 'you're on your own' column.

What specific solutions did you offer?

Please. It wouldn't be the first time a hostage rescue has taken place. I'm sure there are some US agencies that would work with Japan to assist with locating and rescue. Even attempting a rescue is a better solution than just watching him be beheaded on video or paying off terrorists.

Or you could all just continue blaming the victim.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"I clicked this page already expecting comments blaming the victim...

Well, expectations are met."

ONLY because the victim is Japanese!

Otherwise he would have been hailed as a superhero, risking his precious life in highly hazardous environs.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This guy is a brave news reporter reporting inside info on events, risking his life and limb to get it and you play the victim blame game. Do any of you naysayers have the courage to do what he is doing?

here, he admitted in public disloyalty or weakness. His wife can ask for legitimate divorce and the government can pay too for his mercy killing and not just his liberty.

-- Yes, international world is harder than you can imagine.

I can't believe I'm reading this. His wife LOVES him. She wants him back ALIVE. The reporter is speaking Japanese but he IS NOT revealing his identity or that of his cohorts while filmed for the video. He is SAVING their lives. And his wife has a right to cry in public and plea for his release. He's her husband. She loves him. He's sticking up for other Japanese journalists, trying to save their skins. Love. Loyalty. Are these concepts too foreign for you?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

ONLY because the victim is Japanese!

Otherwise he would have been hailed as a superhero, risking his precious life in highly hazardous environs.

Well put. Many here think Japanese aren't qualified to do anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ONLY because the victim is Japanese!

Otherwise he would have been hailed as a superhero, risking his precious life in highly hazardous environs.

Exactly, good peeping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Peeping Tom, I doubt that. Most journalists or civilians getting into trouble in places like Syria etc get little sympathy from the thinking public, regardless of nationality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

CochiseToday 08:48 pm JSTPeeping Tom, I doubt that. Most journalists or civilians getting into trouble in places like Syria etc get little sympathy from the thinking public, regardless of nationality.

Most journalists, American at least are out there to promote themselves - look at ME! However, there are exceptions. I remember in a World Studies HS class we were shown a film about the Vietnam War and it showed a very green Dan Rather reporting from Saigon. Recorded on this movie it showed that resident South Vietnamese 'allies' / 'friends' in a jeep tried to run him over and he had to jump back to keep from getting killed! He was just doing his job for CBS News which was 'get out there and report it'. This was no ego trip here - it nearly got Dan Rather killed on the spot.

Jumpei Yasuda is also doing his job, which is to report the truth and get information for viewers at home. That's how the profession is supposed to be. It's risky and very dangerous. Jumpei Yasuda ain't out in the Middle East for an ego trip or to check out the Pyramids. He's just been doing his JOB and he got unlucky one day. That's the risks. That's the nature of the beast. He's risking his life to bring to the TRUTH to TV viewers, it's his career. You think he WANTED to be captured? You think he didn't KNOW the risks? It's a crapshoot. Jumpei Yasuda is a diligent devoted and courageous man with a job to do, and I hope and pray to God he gets out of this mess alive and soon - just like his wife does. At the same time, he's been reporting to the Japanese media some on-the-spot details of just how crazy things have become in the Middle East. And man, it is CRAZY! Give Jumpei Yasuda some slack, willya?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@starpunk

I don't usually agree with you (ok pretty much never) but you are spot on. It's really sad the amount of people who don't care that a man like this may very well be murdered for trying to get the truth to the public.

As for Dan Rather almost getting run over, I haven't seen the film but as you said, he was very green and I would suspect he was standing somewhere he shouldn't have been and the soldiers in the jeep didn't have the time or patience to wait for a journalist to get out of the way. I doubt it was a purposeful attempt to run him over or even containing any malice beyond a message to watch where he was standing to film.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As for Dan Rather almost getting run over, I haven't seen the film but as you said, he was very green and I would suspect he was standing somewhere he shouldn't have been and the soldiers in the jeep didn't have the time or patience to wait for a journalist to get out of the way. I doubt it was a purposeful attempt to run him over or even containing any malice beyond a message to watch where he was standing to film.

Those people in the jeep were South Vietnamese, not American and they yelled 'Yankee, go home!' to Dan. The South Vietnamese government was a bad corrupt dictatorship itself (but not as rotten as the Communist North) but still they didn't really like the Americans, Aussies, etc. over there and they sure didn't like foreign journalists being there either. Those people in the jeep were trying to mow down Dan, they didn't beep the horn or anything.

The film also showed more of the wrongs of all angles. It showed soldiers using rifles to light up joints, chopper attacks on beachside villages, the tanks rolling in Saigon, the emptying of Cambodia's cities, everything. This was the kind of stuff you don't see on network news, but maybe on PBS. When I saw this film the war had been over by 6 years. Sad to say, from what others have told me, it's the same scenario in different places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Starpunk

°

On a personal level, I am very well aware about torture and terrorism. That mean, I know the real world and not dreamed one.

°

Terrorists are not that stupid.

After two years, they would have known, he was from japan because japan ambassy made the search, and the guy have journalist friends, and his picture is on an internet search board with all the kidnaped and often on the darkweb with a ransom asked. Journalism made sure, the right government can be found as fast as possible to pay a ransom, otherwise the guy is dead or given as food to dogs.

Giving the identity of someone your country won't help is an international journalism code to say "my country refuse to help and pay". They could, but they didn't. They knew where I was, but they said nothing to my family.

The orange suit used to mean : USA paid or made a deal for the family or the world to know the untold truth (and may be give an incentive to Japan government).

Sorry, but the war reality is dark. The journalist took a urge risk. He was playing with his life. Leaving, he did not think about his family or his friend. The second, he was made prisoner, he was as good as dead. What did the family for three years ? A lot are not told.

No matter what, war journalism is a war job. You go. You risk your life. In middle east, kidnapping is for getting money from government and cutting deals. Normal policy is : no deal with terrorism. This is very rare to get them back alive.

I think this is important people understand this piece of information before going down there.

°

NCM

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, but the war reality is dark. The journalist took a urge risk. He was playing with his life. Leaving, he did not think about his family or his friend. The second, he was made prisoner, he was as good as dead. What did the family for three years ? A lot are not told.

As a former military man, we are trained to avoid giving information on our cohorts. Most of the torture is nothing but an exercise of sadism on the part of the captor. Sen. John McCain was a POW in Vietnam for 5 years. They tortured him, and had him sign a statement saying he was a 'spy' and such. It's a lot of psychological abuse too - especially fear. He did not divulge information to his captors.

Michael Durant was a POW in the Somalia war. He was videotaped, beat up even more (we was wounded in a crash when his chopper was shot down) but he gave no important information either. He was made to say that 'the killing of unarmed civilians is not good' and that the American invention in Somalia was a 'mistake'. Again, mostly about fear.

War prisoners do care about their families. They are at a job. So are journalists covering violent events. That's the risks. The very fact that the jihadist nutcases made videos showing Jumpei Yasuda and the Italian reporter indicated that maybe they DO want something. Possibly some money so they can buy more weapons on the black market  for further troublemaking? The pirate bands of Somalia have a nasty habit of doing that - taking prisoners so they can buy more goodies to carry on their little wars in Somalia itself since that nation is in a state of anarchy. And since there's been so much splintering of al Qaida itself, who knows in this case? Just a case. 

Jumpei Yasuda and the Italian journalist are both brave men doing their job to get the facts out to TV viewers. Unfortunately they got caught up in it all. The videos show that the captors want to strike fear to the world (that's what 'terrorism' means after all) but maybe use these captives as bargaining chips as well. A guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to some Japanese journalists, Junpei Yasuda said he was Korean because he is Korean Japanese with both Japanese and Korean passports and he used his Korean passport when he entered Syria.

Yasuda has been detained or held hostage a total of five times in places like Iraq and Syria (in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2015).

In 2004, after Yasuda and his fellow journalist Watanabe were released and flown back to Japan, Watanabe refused to pay back the airfare to the JP govt and sued the government for about $50,000 in compensation, claiming that they got kidnapped because the govt deployed the self defense force in Iraq for UN peacekeeping operation.

Given the number of Yasuda's detentions and hostage situations in the past, some say journalists like Yasuda should be responsible for his action, although many Japanese are praying for his safe return.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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